Monday 25 July 2016

Be careful what you wish for!

Last year, somewhere in the middle of series 3 of The Great British Sewing Bee, mr Foxgloves developed a sudden interest in the show. We watched the next episodes together, sometimes replaying a part or pausing for explanation of technical matters. This year we were going to watch all episodes together. Nice, isn't it?
Well, it looks like this plan is backfiring! Mr Foxgloves is now a self proclaimed expert and very opinionated about my sewing, tsssss.

A few days ago I was working on a cushion cover and I was pretty pleased with my pattern matching.

Can you spot the seam?

Enter *Paddy* Foxgloves. In his best Patrick Grant-voice: "I think I spot a liiiiiittle bit of unevenness there, but overall, a big well done!"
"O, and I forgot to mention you did a great job on that invisible zipper. No bubble at the end!"
Uhhh.... I used a regular zipper.
"No you didn't! I know what an invisible zipper looks like so you can't fool me!"

Spot the difference:

Well, okay. He's got the beard, the dreamy brown eyes, and on a good day he even has the dress sense. The backdrop may be a hint. One of these guys knows his haberdashery, one of them obviously doesn't. Yet.

I did mention the dress sense on a good day. Needless to say not all days are good days.
One day I found this in my sewing room:

The remains of mr F's favourite jeans

"Can you please mend this for me?"
Noooooo. What was he thinking?
"Maybe you can do something like they do in the Sewing Bee alterations challenge."

I offered to cut them off so he would have a shiny new pair of shorts.
"You're disappointing me, dear. That's not a very creative approach! You can make coats, and jackets, but you can't fix this?"
Now he had me cornered. He knows I can't say no to a challenge so that's how these beyond-repair-jeans ended on my sewing table. Not sure what to do with it, suggestions (especially creative(!) suggestions) are welcome. (I already told him that people are paying money for this fashionable distressed look, but he didn't buy it)

The cushion cover is finished. Now I'll struggle my way through 30 meters of curtain fabric and then I'm done with home dec sewing for a while.

Meanwhile Mr Foxgloves has redeemed himself by printing the pdf of my next project, the Cashmerette Upton dress. One more inappropriate remark about my sewing and I'll make him tape all 70 pages together. An allround sewing judge must be introduced to all the joys of sewing, right?

Friday 15 July 2016

Review Knipmode August 2016 (and Knipmode July 2016's highlights)

The cover of Knipmode's August issue is all about sun and sea. Perhaps the endless weeks of heavy rainfall and the fact that I'm shivering in my long sleeved shirt right now isn't helping much but this theme feels a bit.... unseasonal? School's out for summer, holiday suitcases are already packed and summer sale started weeks ago. My overly ambitious summer sewing plans were made months ago!
Well, you can't judge a sewing magazine by its cover, right?

Surprise! No swimsuits, just one pair of shorts and also a bunch of long sleeved jackets, cardigans, dresses and sweaters! 

A black and white capsule collection consisting of dress #15 with interesting seam lines, a nicely shaped fitted dress (#24), skirt #13, loose and boxy top #8 and, not shown, cardigan #12 and trousers #11. Combining items from this capsule will make outfits suitable for all types of weather. 

It's easy to imagine the dress on the left worn with tights. Not sure about maxi dress #1 for summer. The model is showing a lot of leg when seated but the line drawing looks like an awful lot of fabric. It will make pretty autumn lounge wear though.

The 'Oh boy' collection mixes mini skirts and masculine blazers, bow blouses and oversized cardigans. Whoever did the text editing for the cover certainly put me on the wrong track!

A floral collection, love the neckline of the dress on the left!

Some of the patterns are now also shown by models wearing size 46 by request of many Knipmode readers. 

Overview of Knipmode 8/2016  pdf patterns

All in all there's nothing in this issue that will end up in my summer sewing queue, but it's not too bad either.

Last month I skipped the review of Knipmode July 2016. However, that issue contained two patterns deserving an honouroble mention.  For over a decade now Knipmode collaborates with Dutch designer Mart Visser.  Once in a while the Mart Visser original designer patterns make an appearance in the magazine. These are my most treasured issues as the design details are often intriguing and challenging. For the July issue he designed a party dress and a kaftan, both are available as pdf pattern on in European sizes 34-54. Not as remarkable as some of his earlier evening wear patterns, but still really pretty!

Have a nice weekend!

Disclaimer: this review contains no affiliate links. I paid for my copy and all opinions are my own. Photocredits: Knipmode

Thursday 14 July 2016

Silent stitching

Last month, on Father's Day, we lost my father-in-law. While the funeral arrangements were being made I decided to make a dress. Not that I needed the dress, I just needed the stitching.

It felt like the right thing to do. My father-in-law was a fan of handmade garments and he always encouraged me to sew. There was so much on my mind and I had trouble thinking straight. Whatever I was going to make needed to be simple and without fitting issues. There was no time for fabric shopping either so I was looking for a trusted pattern and fabric from the stash. I settled for a black double knit and V8379, a dress I could make on automatic pilot.

When I was sitting in my sewing room the only sound was coming from the birds in the tree next to the window. I hardly remember cutting, stitching or finishing the seams. Sewing helped, like it always does. By the time I was silently hand stitching the hem good memories started to replace the images of his difficult last weeks. My dress was finished in time for the funeral which took place one week before his 97th birthday. He will be missed dearly by all of us.

Today I bought a large bunch of Dad's favourite flowers. He used to grow them on his allotment. Thinking about the gardening lessons he taught me over the years and looking at the sunflowers is cheering me up. And although we are still busy emptying the house I will try to start sewing again soon. Cause it helps.